• theitchpodcast

Ep. 40: Food allergies in the media - the good and the bad

LISTEN TO EPISODE 40: 🎙 iTunes 🎙 Spotify 🎙 Stitcher

Dr. G and Kortney chat with Dr. Manisha Relan about how food allergies are portrayed in the media both the bad and good sides. They briefly talk about the medical side of anaphylaxis before diving head first into breaking down some famous food allergy scenes.

Dr. Manisha Relan is a pediatric allergist and clinical immunologist at a private practice in central New York, where she sees both children and adults for all things allergy. She loves learning and teaching. During fellowship, she was in charge of anaphylaxis training via a simulation lab experience; in her practice she is passionate about women’s health, food allergies, rhinitis, and immunotherapy. She maintains a personal professional Instagram account @pedsallergymd where you can follow her for more.

What we cover in this episode:

  • The 3 definitions of anaphylaxis.

  • How movies and TV shows help patients describe their allergic reactions.

  • How allergists use movies and TV shows to help understand what their patients have experienced.

  • Why media should ensure they are properly portraying food allergies.

  • The negative impacts of media using food allergies as a joke. How does this directly impact the food allergy community?

  • The misinformation being portrayed by the media when showing an allergic reaction.

  • Beyond humour, the other focus in media is harming people who have food allergies. How does this bullying impact people managing allergies?

  • Should kids sit at an allergy table?

  • What shows are doing it right?

The scenes discussed in this podcast episode:


Adults Reacting


Friends: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ub3sE1ww6ac

  1. Allergy: kiwi.

  2. Ross is allergic to lobster, peanuts, kiwi. He eats a kiwi-lime pie thinking it was key-lime.

  3. Symptoms: throat/tongue swelling

  4. Treatment: goes to hospital

Hitch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdDPoFcBZEY

  1. Allergy: seafood.

  2. Symptoms: throat feels itchy (trying to scratch the throat), swelling.

  3. Treatment: Running to a pharmacy, buying Benadryl is not an accurate way to treat it.

Monster-in-Law: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHpyl6uVPrw, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8XC_Zee8XA

  1. Allergy: almonds.

  2. Symptoms: tongue swelling and lips.

  3. Treatment: not shown

Peter Rabbit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VwWPnHZMrs

  1. Allergy: blackberry

  2. Symptoms: not really shown

  3. Treatment: Has epipen on him, no hesitation to use it.

Kids/Teens Reacting


Daniel Tiger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysEk_aLvGYg

  1. Allergy: peach

  2. Symptoms: itchy, hives - red bumps, tummy ache

  3. Treatment: liquid medication

Arthur: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ5JB7z7nOk

  1. Allergy: peanut

  2. Symptoms: itchy

  3. Treatment: adrenaline pen

Freaks and Geeks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE65VbUBGbI

  1. Allergy: peanut

  2. Symptoms: we just see him on a stretcher with an oxygen mask, coma

  3. Treatment: called ambulance

Additional resources:


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